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Chockstone Forum - Accidents & Injuries

Report Accidents and Injuries

Topic Date User
St Peters Gym accident 3-Feb-2017 At 12:56:13 PM MonkeyBoy
I was the leader in an incident very similar to this a few years back. Fell just before the last draw at in indoor Gym in the Uk ( about 14m high ) and stopped about 1m short of hitting the deck. Essentially I fell, as is described in earlier posts the rope began to run through the belay device until the belayer managed to get it under control, at which point they were picked up (they were considerably lighter than me) and slammed into the wall. Luckily they were un hurt and managed to hold onto the rope despite rope burned hands and so could then let out slack in a controlled manner so we both lowered to the ground.

I have no doubt it was the cumulative consequence of a few factors.

1. Belayer not paying attention - Main one - The belayer ( who I know is not on this forum ) had been away for some time, was an experienced climber but was definitely chatting to other locals and talking about their trip !

2. New rope - it was a brand new rope that was straight out of the plastic wrap and had been used on only 2 previous led climbs

3. We didn't climb together often,though I had known the belayer for some time and we have been climbing at the same time we didn't usually climb with each other and I cant help but think this also contributed somehow.

All up and in this incident the belayer came off worse, they were a little bruised and totally despondent that they had early dropped me, and I was a little shook up but OK.

I think all of the lessons and factors pointed out by the belayer in the posts above are bang on and the more people are aware of the potential "failure" points the better and personally am now a more attentive belayer. I also do like to keep an eye on and talk to my belayer if its a new partner.

As a side point i think communication coming from the leader can really help the belayer stay focused, and vice versa. Those little "watch me here" from the leader or "how you doing" coming from the belayer just keep the link between the two people.

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